Sometimes Having Too Many Creative Ideas Hurt

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“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

For the past few years (longer perhaps), I’ve struggled with NOT the writer’s block (blank mind) but with having my brain so crammed with ideas and stories that need to be told, I have nearly stopped writing altogether.

How do I separate these ideas and stories out, and prioritized them?   I mean, they are all screaming as loud as they can…

Me!  Pick me!  No, pick me! 

*Slap!*

You idiot, I’m the one she need to pick and not you! 

And so on.

All day and all night.  Every. Single. Day.

No wonder some writers go completely bonkers.

I’m about there myself.

voices-in-my-head

What makes it all worse is feeling a growing sense of urgency that time is running out.

With so many various life experiences, I desire to use them to help others (through essays and poetry) as well as sharing certain messages that I feel people need to hear/read (through stories and films)…

I–I just don’t know even where to begin.

Which idea…which message should I start with?

What if that one is the last thing I ever do…will it be enough?

Oh, why do I torture myself so?

Writers have told me to just write about the first thing that comes to mind.

Get one word down.

And then another…and another…

But these voices in my head just won’t allow me to do that..one..thing..

Just one.

One!

That’s all I’m asking for!

exploding-head-too-many-ideas

Desperate, I began looking around online for answers.

It seems there is a name for what I have, and that I am not the only one.

Too Many Ideas Syndrome

(TMIS)

I’ve also found some suggestions that I will view as “treatment options.”   Namely from these two articles that I will highlight and visit often:

  1. Dealing With Too Many Ideas Syndrome?
  2. 9 Ways To Overcome Too Many Ideas Syndrome

Some of the treatment options mentioned were making a list of all your creative ideas (including a short summary of what they are about), then prioritize which one to work on (working on only one at a time); review the list either monthly or quarterly to see if any need to be added or deleted as well as if anything need to be re-prioritized.

I finally feel like I have a game-plan that I can live with; and hopefully, will help calm down the voices.

What about you?  Do you have TMIS?

If so, how do you deal with it?

 

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12 thoughts on “Sometimes Having Too Many Creative Ideas Hurt

  1. It’s awful and at the same time wonderful to have a never-ending flow of ideas. I keep the voices happy by writing each new idea down in a notebook devoted to it (yeah, I have a box full of notebooks) – it allows me to then focus on what I’m supposed to be doing. And when it all becomes too much, I stop writing and start sewing: it allows my mind to quiet down (thinking while sewing ends in actual pain when pins end up where they shouldn’t 😉 ). I think “focus” should be my word for 2017…
    Don’t give up, Carrie. Your words and stories are important – that’s why they clamour for attention.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Walking is always a good way to clear my head. As for the notebooks: I’ve found that writing by hand clears away all the distractions that the computer holds. I do have a few Word docs with notes, but I stick to pretty notebooks for the most part 🙂

        Like

  2. I completely understand and I’ve probably got the syndrome too! I used to he very focused. I wrote my trilogy with a specific purpose, but now it’s finished I have too many projects on the go and I’m dabbling around. The list idea sounds good. I miss not having a focus or medium term plan for say 3-4 years sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have two longer writing projects started with one partially finished (part one with part two “yelling’ to get on the way). I’ve been purposely putting them off so to hopefully work on a smaller project (and finish), but so far, the voices keep distracting me! 🙂 Staying focused on any one thing is challenging, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you found help and now have a plan for all your ideas so you don’t lose them as you work on them one at a time, or maybe more at a time. I know writers who have this problem and have several manuscripts going at once. When you’re tired of one, you feel excitement for another. I think summarizing them all and then moving forward is a great idea. Christy (aka Cecelia) from erica and christy http://www.lynneawest.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I’ve begun to build a writing career, this is less of a problem for me because I often have deadlines to meet, so that makes it easier to prioritize: do the one that’s due first.

    But I still have ideas that are screaming to be explored that don’t have anyone in particular waiting for them, and I do struggle to choose which one gets my time and attention first. Sometimes, one is speaking louder than the others. Sometimes not.

    I’m a list maker, so I keep a running list of projects and will add notes on each as they come to me, and when one seems to grow legs, I hop on its back and hold on. 🙂

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

    Liked by 1 person

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